A few days ago, I gifted two of my Gratitude books to a gentleman who came by the Ballroom. Before walking out, he insisted on putting $20 in my hand.
Today at the Farmer's Market, I spot luscious bouquets of sweet peas and bury my face into one of them, closing my eyes to take them in a bit more deeply. As I emerge, I see a woman sitting in a wheelchair looking at me. I decide to buy a bouquet, and before paying for it, I bring it to the woman to take her own olfactory trip. She lights up. "It smells like home," she says with smiling eyes. I tell her to stay right where she is, that I am going to pay for my bouquet and buy one for her too.
At the checkout table, I reach for the $20 bill that was given to me a few days ago - what a perfect use for it - and find that it is gone! I had just seen it a few minutes before, and now it is gone. No sweet peas for us today. I walk back to the wheelchair and tell her what happened and that we cannot have flowers today, but before she can answer, my partner is handing me two bouquets that he just bought, having heard our interaction.
I give the woman her bouquet and then decide to retrace my steps through the market, thinking that maybe I will find my money.
My partner stays at the booth, as he is now ready to buy raspberries, but guess what? He is now short one dollar!
Right behind him, a gentleman reaches into his pocket and gives him a dollar so that he may pay for the raspberries.
I never found my $20 bill, and I trust that it made someone really happy, this morning. It sure started a heck of sweet ripple effect...
From Gratitude book, to sweet peas, to raspberries to... we may never know.
Today I invite you to GIVE. Not because you have to, not because anyone is watching, but just because it feels so darn good and because you will never know how far the ripples will go.
Someone I adore is in love with a person who is in love with both her - and his own addiction.
I remember my heart thinking (do hearts ever think?) that this was a battle I could win. I remember the sobs racking my body at my first and only al-anon meeting. The hopelessness. The confusion. The anger.
"All he has to do is quit," I told myself. "Why isn't he doing that?"
I booked a session with a woman who specialized in things like that. Surely she could teach me how to navigate these waters. Passing me a massive box of Kleenex and boring her eyes into mine, she told me: "Laura, I hear that he loves you. AND his primary relationship is with the alcohol."
But for sure, given the option, he would choose me. So I gave him the option. And he didn't choose me, even though I know that it broke his heart. I was not his primary relationship.
This morning, I receive an email from a former client, one who had once hurt like I once did: "Laura, (my husband) and I are doing great. He is three years sober as of this August. A wonderful guy, he is happy and strong, and we are both happy that things turned out as they did."
Yes, it happens. And there is no knowing when it will and when it won't. There is just the humbling, life-altering reality of being in love with someone who is in love with something else.
Today, for those of us who are hurting, not understanding, or understanding too well and not knowing whether to stay or to go, I say: I am sorry that it is so hard. I am sorry that your heart is breaking and I am sorry that love has turned to pain. Please do not ever feel embarrassed for loving. Please help yourself to the help you need. And please remember that whatever it is... it is all "for now."
Sitting in the hospital cafeteria outside the cardiac surgery room, I look around at all the people buzzing about. Doctors, nurses, and people like me, waiting for someone they love to come out of the big doors so that we may eventually feed them a couple of cups of tapioca pudding.
Hopefully, in two hours, I will be doing just that, with an extra one for me.
This cafeteria is an interesting place, much lighter than the pre-op area and yet it holds a flavor of intensity.
For some reason, my mind makes its way to a piece I wrote a few years ago, about our life chapters, about our us-of-the-past. I pull it up and read it. Then I choose to share it again with you today.
I hope you enjoy it.
I really didn’t need a reason for this trip. Who needs a reason to visit Hawaii? But I still came up with a few: I hadn’t been back in twenty years, I wanted my kids to see “it,” and mostly I wanted my kids to know “it,” this thing that I had only ever found on these little islands, this heady blend of peace and vibrancy, this Hawaii-ness.
So a few days ago, we boarded a plane, and for the last couple of days we have been high on the sun, the smells, the water, the “it,” too.
But as soon as we landed, I knew that none of the above were the full reason why I was here.
I wanted to catch a glimpse of her. To say hello. And more if she would let me.
As soon as we landed, I started to look for her.
I looked for her at the airport, and I looked for her in the Honolulu rush hour traffic where she used to ride her moped. I looked for her at the foot of Diamond Head - where she spent important time - and I looked for her in the hills of Kahala. No luck.
Not only could I not find her, I really could not feel her.
On the North Shore, among the little tiny beach houses and on the side of the road where she spent time working on movies ... I looked. Nope.
Yesterday, we went to the house where she used to live — her sweet little house on the hills of Haleiwa Heights, overlooking the city. At first, I thought the house had been torn down, but it turned out that there it was, the macadamia nut tree twice as big as I remembered it and all the plants all around so much lusher. We even talked with the lady who lives there now.
But even there, in that place that she loved so much - nothing.
The rest of the day, I looked for her on the beaches of Waikiki and in the waves where she used to spend a lot of her time, but she wasn’t there.
I had to have known that. I had to. But I guess I didn’t. Somehow, I thought that she had stayed here and that while I was busy building businesses, raising children, dodging raindrops and getting older, she had kept on living wild and free, riding her moped from beach to beach, taking each hour at a time, and wearing a tiny bikini.
So here I am. As the sun rises over Kailua this morning, I know that the next few days will be different. Wonderful and different.
I don’t need to look for her anymore. I just need to love her.
Hers were powerful times of growth and searching, and while I have lost a little bit of her magic, I know that I have found a lot of what she was looking for.
In the end, it is possible that it may have been more important to come all the way here to say goodbye than to say hello...
So goodbye, my sweet darling. You were beautiful and courageous, and I know, a little lonely sometimes, too. You had so many lessons ahead of you and the fact that you did not know it was very possibly what allowed your magic to flow so freely. Really, you were perfect just as I am today. Just as we all are.
And while I would love to fit in your bikini again, I am so very grateful for the peace I have found in its place... there is no substitute for it.
I love you.
My new book